Alejandro Amenábar's Agora Finally Bought for US Distribution
After first debuting at the Cannes Film Festival some six months ago, Alejandro Amenábar's Agora has finally been picked up for distribution in the US by Newmarket Films (who has released other indies like Death of a President and Passion of the Christ). Agora is an ambitious $60 million film that tells the story of religious conflict in Roman-governed Alexandria as the Christian and pagans battle, often violently, for religious and intellectual supremacy. The period story centers on he enlightened thinker Hypatia as well as both her philosophical and romantic conflicts. Rachel Weisz stars as does Max Minghella and Oscar Isaac.
"Alejandro Amenábar has crafted a film that not only offers a visual spectacle but also deals with religious intolerance in a way that makes this film feel modern and relevant even though it is set centuries ago," said Exclusive Media Group (who recently bought Newmarket) co-chairmen Chris Ball in a statement. "We are proud to be the ones taking this film to US audiences who will find that this film offers epic storytelling at its finest." It's not a good sign that this film has taken this long to sell, especially considering how much it cost to even make. However, I've been a big supporter of it ever since I saw it in Cannes (read my review).
Agora is not necessarily an incredible movie, but it is a good one, with beautiful set design and a great lead performance by Rachel Weisz. She was even getting Oscar buzz at Cannes, but I'm not sure if that'll hold over in this release as well. Newmarket Films will put out the film in the first half of 2010. We also featured a full-length trailer for Agora back in August as well. We'll keep you updated on Newmarket's release plans.